Entitlement and the Lack of Responsibility
It is my firm belief that our society’s high quality of life level has resulted in two things: an entitlement complex and a lack of responsibility complex. This is particularly easy to observe in teenage kids. You don’t even have to leave your home. Log onto the net and see their poorly spelled, grammatically incorrect, incoherent ramblings about everything!
This is evident in every aspect of life. “I bought a harmburger, so I’m entitled to fries. It’s my right.” It’s spread to software as well. Users are content to commit software piracy, downloading and using software with a clear conscience. To them, Microsoft Office and its thousands of features is a right. They need that software and as a human being, they deserve it. Some outright steal it, while others simply buy the academic version of Office (when neither a student or a teacher) and attempt to justify it with the fact that Microsoft Office is expensive. That is not justification, only a rationalization. Further, they have the audacity to claim that Microsoft actually wants users to abuse the fact retailers do not verify academic status when selling this software. Office is a product, a ubiquitous product yes, but a product nonetheless. Its common usage does not make it a right.
Many teens make this mistake with cars. It’s become incredibly common for parents to buy their children automobiles. So common that children that are not give one yell and scream at their parents for trying to destroy their life. While that is more true in higher income areas, the same is true when kids are denied the car on the weekend to go out. “Why are you trying to control me?” “You can’t take the car away from me.” etc.
Further, if in an act of desperation to get something one really wants, one breaks the law, the blame is no longer squarely upon the shoulders of the perpetrator. For example, in the above case of Microsoft Office, if a person were to be prosecuted for pirating that software, I guarantee the first words from that person’s mouth would be “Microsoft made it too expensive.” There would be a ready admission of guilt with some kind of explanation that supposedly should exempt them from punishment. A rationalization or explanation for the action is not a defense. It’s just a different way to confess.
I see it every day in every situation and I’m sick of it. There are a few very basic rights. Everything else is a privelege. Leading a priveleged life doesn’t entitle anyone to those priveleges.